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Valley communities combine efforts to build veterans memorial

WALLAGRASS, Maine – Three St. John Valley communities are working together to build a veterans memorial and are seeking donations from the public to help make it happen. 

A planned Tri-Community Veterans Memorial is a joint effort between the towns of Wallagrass, New Canada and Cross Lake to assemble a memorial on the shores of the Fish River at Soldier Pond to honor those who have served our country. 

The land on which the memorial is to be placed is leased to the town of Wallagrass by the state, which has agreed to donate the land as long as it is used to support the memorial. 

The three towns have appropriated the $2,500 legal fee to pay for transfer of the 70-foot by 125-foot parcel of land from the state to Wallagrass. 

The 4-foot by 6-foot memorial will be placed on a granite base and etched with the insignia of each branch of the military. Two flag poles will be erected at the site bearing United States and Maine flags.

The following will be inscribed on the monument: 

“Wallagrass, New Canada and Cross Lake honor the men and women of their communities who have served our country in times of war and peace. Lest we forget.”

Anyone can purchase a paver at the monument to honor a veteran, regardless of where they are from, at $40 dollars for a 4-inch by 8-inch paver or $60 dollars for an 8-inch by 8-inch paver. 

The total cost of the project is $32,000. 

The project has already received some donations in kind to help defray the expenses including from Soderberg Construction Co.and S.W. Collins in Aroostook and Cole Land Transportation Museum out of Bangor. 

Veteran Melford Pelletier is chairperson of the Tri-Community Veterans Memorial Committee and has taken on the task of seeking such donations. “We’ve received quite a few in-kind donations and to those businesses we are eternally grateful,” Pelletier said. 

“I feel humbled when I go begging for donations but I’ve been very well received by the communities,” Pelletier said. “People in the greater Fort Kent area, particularly Fort Kent businesses have been outstanding in their donations and we’re certainly appreciative of that.”

Soldier Pond/Wallagrass Revitalization Committee raised nearly $6,000 from its 2021 Pond Fest celebration toward the memorial costs. 

“We’ve made quite a bit of progress but still have quite a bit of work to do,” Pelletier said. 

Monetary donations can be sent to: Town of Wallagrass, P.O. Box 165, Wallagrass, ME, 04781

For information call the Wallagrass Town Office at 207-834-2263. 

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